Charlotte AHEC Practice Support
March 2023 Newsletter

MIPS Submission Deadline – March 31st, 2023

The final date to submit your MIPS is March 31st, 2023. If you have not signed into your QPP account recently, take a moment to ensure you are able to sign in and can access the portal. If you would like support from the Charlotte AHEC team, connect with your coach to set up a time to review your submission and to attest.

End of the Public Health Emergency – May 11th, 2023

Based on current COVID-19 trends, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is planning for the federal Public Health Emergency (PHE) for COVID-19, declared under Section 319 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act, to expire at the end of the day on May 11, 2023. The full fact sheet has details related to what is and isn’t changing. In brief, ending the PHE will not affect:

  • Access to COVID-19 vaccinations and certain treatments
  • Zero out-of-pocket for recommended vaccines as a preventative service; Medicaid is covered through September 30th, 2024
  • Medicaid programs will continue to cover COVID-19 treatments without cost sharing through September 30th, 2024
  • Medicaid telehealth flexibility

Timely Filing and PHP Interest and Penalties

In the February 8th, 2023 blog post of July 1, 2021, medical claims processing timelines changed from one calendar year to 180 calendar days for managed care claims.

Additionally, there was information provided on prompt payment standards. Prepaid health plans (PHPs) are required to pay interest (18%) and penalties (1% each additional calendar day/s per your contract) to providers if the PHP fails to accurately pay or inappropriately denies a clean claim within 30 calendar days of receipt of medical claims or within 14 calendar days of receipt for pharmacy claims.

  • This includes incorrect denials, and under- or partial payments that are identified and paid on reprocessed claims.
  • It is the PHP’s responsibility to issue interest and penalty payments to providers when applicable.

Your contract will include specific language on late payments and for more detailed information as to what to expect, review the September 16th, 2021 blog.

NC Health Choice Move to Medicaid

On April 1, 2023, beneficiaries currently receiving NC Health Choice coverage will move to NC Medicaid. Currently, North Carolina has two similar, but different, programs that offer medical coverage for eligible children aged 6 to 18 – NC Medicaid and NC Heath Choice. Key aspects for beneficiaries include:

For additional details on what providers and beneficiaries need to do along with the timeline, review the full announcement.

Telemedicine Program Launched to Increase Access to Lifesaving COVID-19 Treatments

People who test positive for COVID-19, particularly those who are uninsured or don’t have a primary care doctor, will have better access to treatments thanks to a time-limited telemedicine program launched by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services in partnership with StarMed Healthcare. After a positive test, early treatment is key to avoiding severe illness and hospitalizations, and treatment may even reduce complications from post-COVID conditions, also called long COVID.

Free telemedicine appointments to screen for COVID-19 treatment eligibility will be available, while funding allows, to North Carolinians who have tested positive for COVID-19 with an at-home test or other method. To set up an appointment visit or call 704-941-6000, seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Review the full press release for additional information. 

Free Registration: Infection Control Course – Outpatient Healthcare Setting

In North Carolina, every healthcare organization that performs invasive procedures, including injections, is required to designate an on-site staff person to receive infection control training and implement an infection control program.

Wake AHEC has partnered with North Carolina SPICE is offering this opportunity on two separate dates; March 31st and June 16th. To learn more about the agenda, learning objectives and credits available review the flyer.

Off-Cycle Preferred Drug List Update

NC DHB released an off-cycle update to the Preferred Drug List (PDL). The most recent version of the PDL can be accessed online. The next full update is planned for April 1st, 2023. 

Pediatric Comprehensive Guidelines for Obesity

14 million US children are affected by the serious and complex chronic disease of obesity. In 2023, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published new clinical practice guidelines on the evaluation and treatment of children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. Please use the related clinical practice guideline content, trainings and resources to learn more. The algorithm is helpful for decision making. 

Regulatory Reminders – Eyewash Stations

Eyewash stations fall under the OSHA guidelines and are required if there are any corrosive materials that staff and/or contractors could be exposed to if there is a splash hazard to the eyes. This would include, but not limited to, cleaning sprays and wipes. If you have corrosive materials a risk assessment can help determine type and placement of eye wash stations. Additional recommendations can be reviewed in the following articles but may not be inclusive of all guidance:

Make It Actionable! If you do not have an eyewash station, but do have corrosive materials in your practice, conduct a risk assessment on how to best meet the OSHA guidelines. In your huddle or next staff meeting, review with staff the location and proper use of the eyewash station and any maintenance requirements that might be associated with the station.

Charlotte AHEC Practice Support Helping you meet the challenges!

In this time of great transition in health care practices need to position themselves for new payment models, incentive programs, and other health care reforms while refocusing on patient-centered care. Charlotte AHEC is currently able to provide these direct, individualized services at no cost.

Additional Resources:

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